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Under the midnight sun: iceberg sightseeing in Ilulissat

Iceberg sightseeing in Ilulissat is best done at night, not by moonlight but beneath the Arctic’s infamous midnight sun.

Ilulissat is the Greenland you’ve always imagined. Positioned at the mouth of the 40km-wide Jakobshavn Glacier (Sermeq Kujalleq) itself buttressed by an immense icefjord, Ilulissat’s sprinkling of multi-coloured houses on the picturesque iceberg-strewn Disko Bay is one of the most wondrous settings on Earth.

Throw in abounding packs of sled dogs (and their cacophonous howling) and you have a destination that lives up to expectation in spectacular style. It is easy to see why Greenland’s third-largest town is its most popular tourist destination.

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12 of Earth’s most remote places and communities

From eastern Greenland to northern Alaska, we explore some of the most remote places on the face of the Earth.

Whether it’s astronomical distances, inhospitable climates or extreme terrains that define these remote and hostile lands, there’s one thing they all have in common: they’re on my bucket list. That and the fact that people live there.

It’s highly unlikely I’ll actually make it to many of these far-flung realms – I certainly didn’t get to Ittoqqortoormiit on my recent trip to Greenland – but I salute the hardcore residents who carve out an existence in the most remote places and communities on Earth.

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Eqi Glacier boat tour: a journey to the edge of the world

The Eqi Glacier boat tour takes travellers to the precipice of the planet. There you will find an almost supernatural experience.

The gigantic Eqi Glacier in Greenland sits around 430km north of the Arctic Circle and around 1,600km south of the North Pole. On a planet of nearly eight billion people, very few carve out an existence at these latitudes.

Eqi, meaning ‘edge’ in Greenlandic, is an apt name for a glacier positioned at the last frontier of humanity. If Earth were indeed flat, Eqi Glacier may well be the spot marked on maps where ships disappear.

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Poorest countries in the world – ranked

African nations dominate the ranking of the poorest countries in the world based on the latest data from the World Bank.

We all have preconceptions about places. Take Ethiopia for example. As children of the eighties, Kia and I were only too aware of the struggles Ethiopia has faced historically: political unrest, civil war and, of course, famine. It was easy then to imagine a vast desolate dust bowl ahead of our visit in 2017. 

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Visiting the Greenland ice sheet and Russell Glacier

Visiting the Greenland ice sheet and Russell Glacier offers an unparalleled opportunity to observe the country’s infamous interior.

The understated and lonely settlement of Kangerlussuaq in Greenland feels like the edge of the world. Despite lying 50km north of the Arctic Circle, however, there is little evidence of the spectacular scenery that can only be found in the most extremes of the planet: the Polar Regions.

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Why Greta Thunberg makes us so uncomfortable

A school-age climate activist has made us face some harsh home truths.

Greta Thunberg is a threat. She’s a threat to the multi-billion dollar livestock industry and the mighty fossil fuel lobby. In fact, she’s a threat to our very way of life. She calls into question the idea that we – as free-willed, self-determining individuals – should have the right to consume as much as we want, be it travel, food or leisure. 

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30 most beautiful mountains in the world

The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal.

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

If our resident seven-summit hopeful is an apt barometer, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force. These brave men and women will face vertiginous vertical falls, sub-zero temperatures and 8,000m death zones in pursuit of their summit dreams. It’s in ode to them that we present this list.

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Arctic Circle Trail packing list: all you need in one place

Our detailed Arctic Circle Trail packing list includes everything you’ll need on a trek through Greenland’s wild and remote backcountry. 

Fresh from my adventure trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland, I thought it would be useful to share my complete Arctic Circle Trail packing list as a point of reference for future trekkers.

This comprehensive list includes everything I took with me including camping and trekking gear, clothing, food and cooking equipment, toiletries, medication and electronics. Where possible, I’ve included links to the gear I took with me for reference.

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Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail: a dream goes up in smoke

Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland has long been a dream of mine. A dream I came tantalisingly close to fulfilling but for a freak natural event.

I wanted to begin this post by triumphantly announcing that I had finished trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland – but I can’t, for my trek ended in bitter disappointment. It (quite literally) left a stale taste in my mouth and gave rise to a cloud of unanswerable questions; a maddening maelstrom of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ to lament and regret.

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National parks in Wales: which one is right for you?

When it comes to Britain’s breathing spaces, the national parks in Wales compete with the best of them. Here, we explain why.

Surrounded by sea on three sides, Wales is a dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts. While not as rugged as Scotland or romantically perceived like Ireland, deepest Wales is just as beguiling. 

Lonely corners abound on dramatic mountain passes, deep river valleys and weather-lashed cliffs. Scattered seamlessly across the natural landscape are Iron Age hill forts, Roman ruins and over 600 castles – more per capita, it’s said, than any other country in the world. 

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18 interesting facts about the Faroe Islands

We share the most interesting facts about the Faroe Islands gleaned from our brief but bracing trip to these wild Atlantic isles.

Positioned in the heart of the Gulf Stream, adrift in the North Atlantic at 62° north, the Faroe Islands lie to the northwest of Scotland – about halfway between Norway and Iceland.

The remote archipelago comprises 18 rocky islands connected by a series of tunnels, bridges and ferries. Just a short hop from the UK via Edinburgh, the islands are a paradise for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.

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Driving in the Faroe Islands: 10 tips to get you going

A one-glance guide to driving in the Faroe Islands, from navigating single-lane tunnels to dodging flocks of sheep.

With spectral sub-sea tunnels, dramatic drops and 70,000 sheep to dodge, it’s no wonder that driving in the Faroe Islands puts some people off. 

There are few places, however, more suited to a road trip. These wild, sea-salted isles offer stunning vistas around every bend and driving is a pleasure. 

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12 things to do in the Faroe Islands

Our selection of the best things to do in the Faroe Islands, from searching for puffins on Mykines to strolling scenic streets.

Four days were never going to be enough. Lying adrift in the North Atlantic, the far-flung Faroes were once reserved for only the hardiest travellers. However, much has changed and today the 18 wild and windswept isles are drawing more and more visitors each year.

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6 best hikes in the Faroe Islands

The best hikes in the Faroe Islands offer a wonderful way to explore these wild and windswept isles.

Deep in the North Atlantic, there is a volcanic archipelago protruding from the untamed waters between Iceland and Norway. This remote clasp of 18 basalt rocks make up the Faroe Islands and are home to stirring fjords, dramatic cliffs and sweeping glaciated valleys.

These islands are repeatedly and relentlessly buffeted by the swells and squalls of the tempestuous Atlantic Ocean. As such, the Faroes feature some seriously exciting hiking trails with equally extraordinary scenery.

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Hiking Sørvágsvatn Lake, Faroe Islands

Blessed with a spell of good weather, we set off to Sørvágsvatn where the largest lake in the Faroe Islands stretches into ocean.

Sometimes, in the dead of British winter, I’ll console myself with the fact that at least I’m not on Cotopaxi. At least I’m not on Cotopaxi. Our 2015 glacier hike on Cotopaxi Volcano was probably the coldest I’ve ever been. My fingers were rendered immobile and my feet were hunks of ice and still we trudged on through rain, sleet and snow.

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In search of puffins in Mykines, Faroe Islands

We journey to Mykines, the westernmost island of the Faroes in pursuit of its famous puffins.

“We do not have bad weather,” says the Faroe Islands website.

“Just a lot of weather.”

Adrift in the Atlantic Ocean, halfway between Iceland and Norway, the 18 islands of the Faroes do indeed have weather. It is palpable here: an ever-looming presence that snatches away your car door, rattles against your window and cries shrilly into quiet lulls.

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10 best hikes in Dartmoor National Park

Our selection of the best hikes in Dartmoor National Park showcases the very finest of England’s wildest landscape.

I’ve always been fond of Dartmoor. I first visited as a child on a family holiday and I’ve returned regularly ever since. Famous for its wild ponies, open moorland and craggy granite tors (free-standing rocky outcrops that rise abruptly from the surroundings), it is one of the few genuinely wild places left in England.

Tucked away in the southwest of the country, Dartmoor National Park is home to some of the finest hiking in England. An array of trails criss-cross the wide open vistas and there are several routes to suit different abilities.

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